When my husband leaves for work my daughter usually jumps in bed with me until we both wake up to begin our day. She is 10 and I never once considered telling her she is old enough to stay in her own bed because for 1 hour before each day starts I am allowed to hold and hug my daughter as she sleeps comfortably in my arms.
I will miss this the most when she leaves for college (or whatever great endeavor she will embark on). In these moments, I feel strong because I am her protector. But my worry sometimes ruins these beautiful moments. Here is how reality met my worried brain this morning.
“I love you, have a good day and drive safe!” my husband and I have a ritual every morning. I always say the same thing and I mostly always mean it. I remember my mom saying she used to say that but every time she did my dad would come home hurt so she stopped saying it because it jinxed him. I am afraid if I don’t say it I will regret it because I have always said it.
I hear rustling in the kitchen, and then little feet run into my room as my husband leaves. “Hi mom”
“Hi baby” and we cuddle up with the dog wedged between us. The dog loves to weasel her way in between two warm bodies.
Door opens then shuts and I call out “Honey?” no answer.
“Mom?” my daughter whispers.. “I am scared.”
“Hello!” I call out again with no answer.
“Hold on honey, it was just daddy leaving.” I say calmly as I grab my phone to call him.
“Hello” husband immediately answers his phone.
“Where are you?”
“In the garage”
“Did you just come in and leave again?”
“Did you just leave? Cause the door alarm sounded.”
“A few minutes ago”
“Can you come back in and look around?”
“Door alarm sounds and he said it must have just been me because I was getting my lunch out of the garage fridge.”
“Ok thank you…set the alarm when you leave.”
My daughter isn’t convinced. She wonders if someone came in the back door. I tell her no that we keep the doors locked but she isn’t easily convinced. She listens to the quiet a bit and finally falls asleep.
I don’t fall asleep so easily because my mind is working out that scenario.
What if someone is in the house?
What if they are waiting for me to fall asleep so they can kidnap my daughter?
What if they have been staking out the house waiting for the perfect opportunity to hurt us? After all, it happened like this to a neighbor of mine around 20 years ago.
What if it is really my husband who has become a Ray Bradbury alien?
What if it is a malicious ghost just waiting to steal our souls?
These thoughts kept me awake until the alarm clock went off.
Good grief… I need coffee.